The Great British Seaside Selloff

26 Aug

Is the title of an article in today’s Guardian G2.

One paragraph:  Seasides were always about taking money off holidaymakers, but Thatcherism has pushed the tide out way too far.  Today, it’s too often about “profit centres”: if this piece of land on the seafront doesn’t make a big enough profit, let’s build something else on it, even if that means destroying the character of the resort.  In my 1979 AA Guide, Exmouth is described as a place that has “all the amenities of a popular resort whilst remaining free from excessive commercialisation”.  That just about holds true today, but won’t for much longer if East Devon District Council gets its way.  Despite a petition that raised 10,000 signatures, the council has sold Elizabeth Hall, a popular community facility on the esplanade that dates from the Victorian era.  It will be demolished and replaced by a four-storey hotel.  The council’s  “masterplan” for the redevelopment of the seafront includes more “retail areas” and “a large privately-run play and recreation area.

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